The woman tasked with spreading the Tea Party message among African-Americans says black voters need to get past "ethnic pride" and the "nonsense" that the Tea Party is racist.
"There has been a void in reaching the black community with message of limited government," Deneen Borelli, the new Director of Outreach for FreedomWorks, told BuzzFeed in an interview Monday. "For many years now it's been the same message from the liberal black establishment, that blacks need special treatment, that they are victims."
Borelli, who cited Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as key ideological opponents, is a Fox News contributor and author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. FreedomWorks is headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. This election year, Borelli will be traveling the country to tackle one of the Tea Party's biggest obstacles: How to bring minorities on board? And how to combat the perception that Tea Partiers are racist?
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Borelli, outlined her plan for convincing people in the black community to leave the Democratic Party.
"I'm challenging them on their words and their actions," Borelli said, referring to Sharpton and Jackson. "They've been doing this for many years and it's a disservice to the black community." The two are "notorious for playing the race card," she said, and "it's easy for them to get media coverage."
Borelli said she believes that African-Americans don't vote to the right not because they don't agree with her, but because conservative outreach hasn't been sufficient.
"How do we outreach to the black community?" Borelli said. "What I find is that individuals are targeted by family friends and coworkers because of their views of liberty and personal responsibility."
Another factor that Borelli believes will help her cause: high unemployment in the black community, which she predicts will turn African-Americans against President Obama.
"I know from reading and from other conversations that there are a number of black voters who voted for Obama because he's black, because of ethnic pride," she said. "In my opinion you should do your research and see where a politician stands on your policies."
FreedomWorks has activists working all over the country, and Borelli will be sent to help them make connections with minority communities.
She is a former trustee at The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York, and is a fellow with Project 21, a black conservative group.
Borelli rejects the perception of racism among the tea party as "nonsense."
"We educate, we inform, we inspire individuals to get engaged and get involved," she said. "And it has absolutely nothing to do about race."
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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